The Day of the Wave
by Becky Wicks
ROOM WITH BOOKS encourages our readers to follow the tour and comment.
Torn apart by the tragedy. Thrown back together ten years later by destiny… Isla and Ben were just sixteen when the Boxing Day tsunami ripped through their beach resort in Thailand. Just days after forming a life-changing bond, both were missing and presumed dead.
Based on real life events, The Day of the Wave is a story of healing, learning to let go, and figuring out when to hold on with everything you have left.
It’s a clear night by the time we get back to Shady Palms. Izzy promised to go see Lawan again soon and after seeing the way they hugged when we left, I know she sees her as some kind mother figure now. My heart bleeds for what she lost, what happened to her, going through hell in all those hospitals. She didn’t want to live for a while. She said it. She actually said it. I felt the same way after losing Toby.
‘I can’t stop thinking about how your real name is Isla,’ I tell her as we walk onto the beach in front of our huts, drop to the sand and gaze out at the glistening ocean. Her head rests on my shoulder and the hair that’s come loose from her braids tickles my face.
‘You’re an island, Izzy,’ I say. I say it out loud because I was thinking it, just now at Lawan’s when I was watching her mouth move, the scars glistening on her arms in the lamplight. ‘You rose above the waves to survive.’
‘I never thought about that before.’ She drags a finger through the sand. ‘Everyone always says I’m one of the lucky ones, but I always wondered why I was left out. Why did I survive when so many other people died?’
‘Tell me about it.’ I rest my head on hers. ‘We both kind of died in it and lived at the same time, I think.’
‘You’ve lived more than me,’ she snaps back, almost angrily. ‘Being alive is everything, Ben. It’s all that matters – the now. I feel like I’ve been wasting my life so far! I don’t want to go back that job, or London.’
Her head springs up and her eyes shoot up to mine. Something in her gaze draws me in again, right down those damn corridors into a place I always get lost. I know what she’s thinking though, and my stomach knots till my breath shortens and I have to tear my eyes away. She’s thinking this is the start of something and it’s my fault. The thought is like a fork in a toaster, shooting out warning sparks now, not the good kind. What am I doing, with Izzy of all people?
Don’t think about it.
She puts her hand to my cheek, turning me back to her. ‘You OK?’
‘I’m OK,’ I tell her quickly, ‘just having a hard time believing this is all happening.’
‘Maybe it was supposed to,’ she says, shuffling around to sit in front of me, cross-legged, covered in sand. ‘Isn’t that what you said, at the waterfall?’
‘I don’t know, Izzy.’ I say it under my breath. Her eyebrows knit together but in a second I’m kissing the doubt away, willing the thoughts to stop colliding in my brain; the ones that scream how right she is, and this is, and the ones that scream this has to stop. I pull her back with me. She’s in my head and my heart and my soul but I’ll hurt her, like I hurt everyone. How could I not, in the end?
Don’t think about it.
I kiss her harder and her arms wrap around me till she’s on top of me on the sand and I’m swimming in the ocean of her, and not the thoughts that try to drown me every time I get my head above the water
She’s good for you.
But Ben. She doesn’t know the half of what you know.
What inspired you to write the book?
It all started when I was in Sri Lanka last November (2014). I kept meeting locals who all had stories about the tsunami and how it ripped through their homes and washed their tuk-tuks away – many were still struggling to make ends meet because of it over ten years later. It was heartbreaking.
I had so many nightmares there about tsunamis striking the house I was staying in, and one night the story about Ben and Isla surviving and finding each other against all odds just came to me. I knew I had to write it down and I didn’t stop once I’d started. It took me five weeks to get it all down and then obviously you never stop editing and perfecting, bit by bit, even after you hit publish.
I have so many songs already picked out that you can listen to along with the book, which you can listen to on my blog, on the playlist! I think I’d have Vince and Catherine from the TV show Beauty and the Beast as Ben and Isla in a movie – their chemistry is magnetic! I love the idea of all the visuals too, like the scooter and elephant rides, plus the flashbacks to the tsunami. I think it would be quite a powerful movie! Can we make this happen please?
Becky Wicks is mostly powered by coffee. She had three travel memoirs published by HarperCollins before going the indie route. Her first book in the Starstruck Series, ‘Before He Was Famous’ recently reached #1 in Amazon’s Coming of Age and New Adult & College categories. The second in the series, ‘Before He Was Gone’, and the third, ‘Before He Was A Secret’ are both out now along with ‘The Day Of The Wave’ – a romance based around the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.
Becky blogs most days at beckywicks.com and always welcomes distractions on Twitter: @bex_wicks (especially if you have cat photos)
Becky will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.